Almost everyone (well if not, then a lot of people) have one ‘bad’ habit or the other they would love to stop but can’t seem to stop.
As someone that has fought quite a few habits; from pornography watching to PC games addiction it is never easy stopping a die-hard habit formed from months or even years of practice. Before we even dive into the real issues with stopping a bad habit how does habits get formed.
How are Habits Formed?
Habits are a result of actions we repeat over and over for a certain period of time. Subconsciously you get used to checking your phone first thing when you wake up in the morning. You start the action consciously at first but then it becomes gradually automatic till you start to do it without thinking or planning.
So How Can You Effectively Stop Any Bad Habit?
1. Find out What Triggers Your Habit
When and Why do you do the bad habit you do? Who are you with? What are you doing? What emotional state are you in? What needs is your bad habit fulfilling?
The more honest you are with yourself about the nature of your habit, the more likely you will change your behaviour. Keep a log book of your bad habit, the triggers, and the pros and cons of the behaviour.
2. Find a Good Habit to Replace Your Bad Habit With
It is not enough to want to stop your bad habit. You have to replace with a good habit so you can fill a vaccuum. The same way cigarette smokers who are trying to stop the habit might take up things like chewing gums,
3. Set Small Goals
Rather than set a huge goal you would be scared to meet set small incremental goals. For instance you want to stop smoking start with daily goals not to smoke in one day, extend to two days, three and then a week. Like that you progress with baby steps till you break the cycle of that bad habit.
4. Reward Yourself
Naturally we are motivated to do things by the reward at the end of achieving the set targets. Set small rewards for yourself for each step of the goals you achieve while trying to break the habit
5. Use the new Habit at Every Opportunity
If you don’t use something it gets rusty. Try out your new habit more and gradually the old bad habit takes the back seat
6. Expect Relapses
You should that in the course of trying to break a habit you will occasionally fall back to doing the bad habit you are fighting to stop. Don’t worry that is normal. Don’t beat yourself when you relapse. Pick yourself up from their and try to go a longer time without the habit.
7. Be Strong & Hold Yourself Accountable
At the end no one is responsible for your actions or habits except you.